“The Batman” is a smash hit take on Gotham City’s hometown hero

Warner Bros. Pictures



“The Batman” by director Matt Reeves is a excellent new take on a classic comic book hero.

Nick Miller, Sports Editor

Vampires are known for their ability to turn themselves into bats. Robert Pattinson is no different. Fourteen years ago, he portrayed Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” saga and now, it seems, has transformed from a vampire to a bat… man.
Director of “The Cloverfield Paradox”, Matt Reeves looked to Pattinson to play the caped crusader in his new approach to the classic comic book hero, titled, The Batman. Reeves wanted this film to appear more as a grunge, dark detective film rather than being a purely violent knight similar to how Christian Bale played Batman in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”. This film started to be compared to “The Dark Knight” as soon as its first trailer dropped back in October, however, the films are completley incomparable.
The film is incredible. The story follows the “Batman: Year Two” comics by Mike W. Barr, in which Bruce Wayne is more experienced as a detective. In contrast to other renditions of Batman, this dark knight doesn’t have the funding and support for heavy kevlar and fancy gadgets, he had to create all of that for himself. I loved this about him. Reeves went the extra mile to create a hero who, realistically, could be anyone. The Batman insignia in the center of his chest is crafted from the handgun that murdered his parents. The spotlight that ignites fear in criminals’ hearts is just a piece of scrap metal that was jammed into a light on a construction site.
These details are what make “The Batman” more than just a comic book movie. There are true ingredients of a crime-fighting badass in the underworld of Chicago or New York, this one just happens to wear a cape and cowl.
What sets the tone of the film is the music. Reeves could not have chosen a more perfect choice for the soundtrack. There is nothing more intimidating than hearing those four notes on the organ overtop an epic cello, as you gaze into a dank alleyway, just to catch a glimpse of a dark figure emerging from the shadows. The true grunge aspects bleed through the hardcore percussion and harsh orchestra by composer Michael Giacchino. The song that has been stuck in my head is Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” ever since seeing Bruce Wayne patrol his way through a long hallway.
A great film is often capitalized by beautiful cinematography. “The Batman” is absolutely no exception. Perhaps my favorite action scene in any movie is the final scene in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”. The evil Darth Vader is hunting down the rebellion when he corners his enemy. He ignites his lightsaber and the rebels fire back using their blasters. What makes this scene so astounding is the fact that the only lighting used in this scene comes from the saber, the handful of blasters, and the red flash of a lone emergency light.
Reeve adapts this idea in the third act of “The Batman”. Bruce Wayne approaches the crime boss, Carmine Falcone in absolute darkness. Falcone’s henchmen light up the hallway with their gunfire. Gunfire that slowly dwindles as Batman takes out the goons one-by-one. The only time we see Batman is in the light of the firearms. Truly menacing.
No movie is complete without its spectacular characters. Paul Dano is excellent as the Riddler. He is a vile man, with no real motive for his actions other than to create chaos. His terrifying homemade mask fits the realistic undertone of the film.
!!!Major spoiler warning ahead!!!
The gem of the film is the fact that the main conflict is never actually resolved. The Riddler wins. Falcone is killed, the levee is blown up, and the Riddler’s plan is not foiled. This shows the flaws of Batman. Almost every hero film revolves around the victory of the protagonist, making the characters feel almost impenetrable. Reeve’s rendition of the titular dark knight is not like the others. The fact that Batman can be so vulnerable kept me engaged throughout both of my watch-throughs. With the way the film was going, I suspected that he could fail at any turn.
In a surprise cameo, Barry Keoghan becomes the eighth actor to play Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker, as the cellmate of the Riddler. Joker gives the Riddler a riddle of his own. He tells him, “the less of me you have, the more one is worth.” The Riddler responds, “A friend.” and the Joker gives off his iconic maniacal laugh.
All in all, “The Batman” by director Matt Reeves starring Robert Pattinson is an astounding film. It checked every box of my favorite film. A compelling story, realistic characters, a looming chance at a sequel, and more. Pattinson delivers a riveting performance as the bat. A performance for the ages.